This 5-year project is funded by U.S. Department of Education to the University of Connecticut with contracts to the collaborating universities of Florida State University, University of Oregon, and University of Kansas. Other principle collaborating programs include the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Columbia University, and the Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.
At the University of Kansas the directors are EvaHorn, Ph.D.(right), Director, and David P. Lindeman,Ph.D., Co-Director (left), with Stephanie Parks,Ph.D., as the Project Coordinator. Each of the four central collaborating universities will be responsible for identified states and willbe working with agencies and programs in those states responsible for establishment of criteria for professional credentials and training for those professionals who provide early intervention and early childhood special education services.
The project began January 1st, based in four identified regions across the country with the common goal of establishing a national Early Childhood Personnel Center. At a time when budgets are tightening and programs narrowing, this common goal becomes an extraordinary mission to improve professional development with the ultimate outcome resulting in greater opportunities for children with disabilities and their families.
Work through this center will create a national resource that outlines personnel standards, describes appropriate, high-quality competencies and recommended best practices for professional development for personnel providing services to infants, toddlers, and preschool children and their families. The project will "raise the bar" as it assists State programsa in aligning their personnel standards to nationally recognized professional organization standards. Support and from the Center to states is key, as partnerships are developed to support alignment between preservice and inservice training for all personnel.
The project will utilize tailored technical assistance to states using implementation science and scaling up practices to develop, implement and evaluate its activities. The four universities, an executive leadership team and other expert staff and faculty will provide technical and evaluation expertise. Additionally, and of note, 10 national early childhood and education organizations will support and partner with the new Early Childhood Personnel Center.